Three Ways To Get More Out Of Your Facebook Fan PageElance_Alex | Apr 12, 2010
If you haven’t noticed by now, tons of companies (including us!) are representing themselves on Facebook with a Fan Page. Why wouldn't they? The service offers a slew of community building opportunities at no real cost. However, some are doing a better job tapping into this incredible resource than others. If you’re just beginning to set up shop on Facebook or you’re looking to do a little bit of remodeling on your page, we’ve got a simple primer with three things to consider before you get started.
Applications: As of right now, there are more applications you can take advantage of to increase your page’s functionality than you can shake a stick at. Although installing them to your page can be a bit tricky for unfamiliar users (as opposed to your personal profile page), it’s definitely worthwhile to skim through the directory and try a few out on your page.
Social RSS is a fantastic application that can live on a Tab or your left-hand rail that does exactly what you think it does – imports up to five different RSS feeds from anywhere on the web to be presented to your Facebook fans. You could import news, your company blog, your last ‘tweets or ‘tweets about you, job posts, or anything else that comes in a feed package. Check out our Social RSS page on Facebook to see how we’re using it. Another RSS alternative you can try out is RSS Graffiti, which will automatically pull the RSS feed of your choice complete with images and links and will post it on your wall.
Polls is a great application to build user engagement with your fans. It’s extremely easy to set up new questions and view corresponding results, but the application has a few bugs that can be quite a bit of an annoyance. If you’re frequently uploading video content that you want your fans to see, the YouTube application is a no-brainer as it provides an easy way to provide your multimedia content to users in a nice format.
Utilizing FBML: Here’s the fun part. FBML (Facebook Markup Language) is Facebook’s coding language that you can use to create your own customized tabs for your users. Those of you that have experience dealing with HTML will have a very small learning curve when taking advantage of the page.
Combining FBML code with the application “Static FBML” is where the magic happens for your Fan Page. Basically, when you add Static FBML to your Fan Page, you’ll have the ability to create tabs or “boxes” that are a blank canvas for you to modify for to your liking with HTML code. For example, if you take a look at the Elance Facebook Fan page, we utilize these in a variety of ways. I’ve created a custom Twitter button (on the left hand rail), and I’ve also created a small collection of videos that you can view on the Boxes tab. If you want, you can create an entire tab to showcase any new promotions, brochures, newsletters, or landing pages. Check out Sunkist’s “Take A Stand” page to see an example of the types of pages you can create.
Speaking of landing pages, the beauty of this is that you can actually customize the experience so that non-fans that stumble upon your page get sent to a specific tab. This will allow you to have customizable landing page and message for fresh faces to increase your chances of converting your guest into a Fan and potential customer. You can also add Google Analytics into the mix by adding the free external application FBGAT (Facebook Google Analytics Tracker) to get insight on visitor stats, traffic sources, and more. (Here's a guide on getting it installed.)
Promoting: Now that you have built it, you’ve got to get the people to come. Promoting your Fan Page through your newsletters, web pages, blogs, signage, receipts, brochures, and more is an easy place to start.
If you’re dealing with a digital format, like a blog for example, Facebook has an awesome embeddable widget that you can drop directly into your page that allows your visitors to become fans with just one click of a button. (Have a look at our right rail for an example.) These widgets are HTML-based and can be customized to fit any of your web pages nicely. Also, encourage your Fans to put of “Fan Badges” to also help get the word out. Learn more about all of Facebook's promotion widgets here.
If Facebook, Twitter, and social media sound like a foreign langeuage for you, don't fret. There are over 3,500 expert providers on Elance that can help you get your social media program in gear. And a question to the social media savvy: What do you do to get the most out of your Facebook Fan Page? Share your expertise in the comments below.
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